Saturday, November 27, 2010

French Toast Cups

My Sister Haven and I were talking the other day and she asked me if I had ever made these "French Toast Cups". I had not tried them and decided that it would be a perfect pre-sledding breakfast. I did not have any sausage on hand so I opted for bacon and the results we delicious . This is a great Brunch item.

Maple and Sausage-Stuffed French Toast Cups (as seen on Rachel Ray)

(Printable Version) 


  • Butter, for the muffin tins
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon (a splash) milk, (eyeball it)
  • 2 teaspoons (about half a palmful) cinnamon
  • A dash of vanilla extract
  • A few grates fresh nutmeg
  • 6 slices white or wheat sandwich bread 
  • Topping: (I just diced up some bacon and tossed it with maple syrup)
  • 1 1/2 cups maple syrup
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 pound country breakfast sausage, casings removed if links
  • 3 McIntosh apples, skins left on, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh apple cider
Yields: 6 servings, as a brunch item


Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Rub the inside of each cup of a 6-cup muffin tin with butter and set aside.
In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg.
Cut a slit in the corner of each slice of bread from the middle of the slice to the edge. Dip each slice of bread in the egg mixture then lightly press it into a cup of the muffin tin, overlapping the pieces where you cut the slit to make it fit into the cup without tearing.
Bake the French toast cups for 12-14 minutes, until they're light golden brown.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Pecan Pie Bars

I made these great Pecan Pie Bars for our Thanksgiving Feast . I initially went searching for a bar option because I ran out of "Pie Pans" due to  making 6 Pumpkin Pies. This version was fabulous. I don't think I will make it in pie form again. It serves up nicely and will leave you wanting more.

Pecan Pie Bars (printable version)
  • 2  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2  cup  sugar
  • 1/8  teaspoon  salt
  • 3/4  cup  butter or margarine, cut up
  • 1  cup  firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1  cup  light corn syrup
  • 1/2  cup  butter or margarine
  • 4  large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 1/2  cups  finely chopped pecans
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
Combine flour, sugar, and salt in large bowl; cut in 3/4 cup butter thoroughly with a pastry blender until mixture resembles very fine crumbs. Press mixture evenly into a greased 13" x 9" pan, using a piece of plastic wrap to press crumb mixture firmly in pan. Bake at 350° for 17 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
Combine brown sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup butter in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring gently. Remove from heat. Stir one-fourth of hot mixture into beaten eggs; add to remaining hot mixture. Stir in pecans and vanilla. Pour filling over crust. Bake at 350° for 34 to 35 minutes or until set. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.
Christmas with Southern Living 2000, Oxmoor House, JANUARY 2000

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Squares

If you are looking for a twist on the traditional pumpkin pie but are not quite in the mood for a cobbler this is the perfect recipe for you. The addition of eggs to the pumpkin gives this dessert a lighter,fluffier texture. My husband really enjoyed this version. 

Pumpkin Pie Squares from Sisters Cafe

1 box yellow or spice cake mix, reserve 1 cup for topping
1/2 cup melted butter
1 egg

1 29oz can pumpkin (I used Libby's-make sure it is pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mix)
1.5 cups evaporated milk
1.5 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. vanilla
1 t. ginger
1/4 t. cloves

Reserved 1 cup dry cake mis
1/4 cup sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/8 cup butter

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, mix together cake mix (reserving one cup for the topping), melted butter and egg. Spread into greased pan. For the filling, mix all ingredients well and pour over crust mixture in pan. For the topping, mix together reserved cake mix, sugar, cinnamon and butter. Mix until crumbly and sprinkle on the pumpkin filling mixture. Bake 1 hour or until a nice inserted in the middle comes out clean. (I just poke it with a knife and make sure it comes out clean).  Chill and serve with real whipped cream.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cowboy Spaghetti

I wanted to try a new recipe that my family would be sure to enjoy. I came across this great spaghetti recipe. It is a great alternative to traditional spaghetti. It has a nice smoky flavor with a touch of spiciness. This a great hearty "CowBoy" meal.

Cowboy Spaghetti as seen on BlogChef
(printable version)
1 lb spaghetti noodles ( I used whole wheat spaghetti noodles)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 slices smoky bacon (chopped)
1lb ground beef
1 medium onion
4 garlic cloves (minced)
Ground black pepper (to taste)
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ cup beer ( I used apple juice in stead of the beer with great results)
1 (14 ounce) can fired roasted diced tomatoes
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
shredded cheddar cheese
green onions (chopped) (i didn't have these so I sprinkled a few dried chives)

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1: Cook spaghetti noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. This can be done while you’re making the sauce. Heat a large deep skillet to medium-high heat. Add olive oil and add bacon. Fry bacon until crisp, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Step 2: In the same skillet add ground beef and chop up with a spatula or metal spoon while cooking. Cook until the beef is browned. Add onions and garlic, stir into the meat. Season with salt, pepper, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Add the beer to the pan and stir in. Cook for 5-6 minutes and stir in tomatoes and tomato sauce. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Step 3: Add spaghetti noodles to the meat and sauce and combine. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and green onions.
(Makes 4 Servings)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bakery Style Peanut Butter Cookies

Today I was surfing the net looking for a new cookie recipe to try for an after school treat for the kids and I came across this yummy cookie. I had all the ingredients and decided to go for it. I am glad I did. This is definitely going to be kept on our favorite cookie list.

Peanut Butter Cookies as seen on Smitten Kitchen
(Printable Version)
The brilliance of these cookies is that they have include two different formats for peanuts–three if you use chunky peanut butter. They’re crisp on the outside, and almost cakey on the inside. Bake a batch and then hide the results in the furthest and most forgettable reaches of your kitchen. You’ll thank me later.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter at room temperature (smooth is what we used, but I am pretty sure they use chunky at the bakery)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup chocolate chips
For sprinkling: 1 tablespoon sugar, regular or superfine( for the record I used more than a Tablespoon)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Add the milk and the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly. Stir in the peanut butter and chocolate chips. Place sprinkling sugar — the remaining tablespoon — on a plate. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls into the sugar, then onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion. Using a fork, lightly indent with a crisss-cross pattern (I used the back of a small offset spatula to keep it smooth on top), but do not overly flatten cookies. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Do not overbake. Cookies may appear to be underdone, but they are not.
Cool the cookies on the sheets for 1 minute, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

I found this great pancake recipe at the Idea Room. They are fantastic your family will love them. Make sure to double the recipe because they disappear quickly. We enjoyed ours topped with buttermilk syrup. They would be great drizzled with icing. Try these today !!!

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes:
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon honey

Cinnamon swirl:

2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon flour

1. Mix all the ingredients together to make the pancakes and set aside. Preheat your pan or skillet and lightly grease it.

2. Make the Cinnamon Swirl mixture and place it into a a small bottle with a squirt nozzle or a small baggie with a snip in the corner.

3. Spread your batter into small pancakes on the griddle. Immediately add the cinnamon swirls.

4. Cook the pancakes until small bubbles form on the topside of the pancake and do not fill back in with batter.

5. Flip over the pancakes with a turner and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute.

My kiddos enjoyed these with buttermilk syrup. My husband thought they were great plain.

If you would like to drizzle icing instead of syrup try this one:

For the Cream Cheese Icing...
In the same bowl that you used for the cinnamon filling, mix together, using the hand mixer again:
2 cups powdered sugar
2 ounces cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
4 T. milk

Mix until smooth and pour into a second pastry bag just like you did with the cinnamon mixture above.

For the Buttermilk Syrup try this:

 Buttermilk Syrup

1/2 Cup butter
1 Cup Sugar
2/3 C. buttermilk
1 t. vanilla

1/2 t. baking soda.
Mix Butter, sugar and buttermilk together and boil 2 full minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and baking soda.
Serve over pancakes.   Makes 2 cups of syrup.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Best Lemon Bars from All Recipes

  We tried this version of the classic lemon bars today and were glad we did. The lemon flavor was enhanced by the lemon zest. Make Sure to use Large lemons to get a Tart lemony flavor.....Enjoy.
The  Best Lemon Bars from All Recipes
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 lemons, juiced ( I used to large lemons and added the zest of 1 of them )
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, blend together softened butter, 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup sugar. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 inch pan.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until firm and golden. In another bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/12 cups sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice and zest. Pour over the baked crust.
  4. Bake for an additional 20 minutes in the preheated oven. The bars will firm up as they cool.